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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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June 22, 2011     Hays Free Press
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June 22, 2011
 

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Page 6A NL=WS Hays Free Press June 22, 2011 + + m Citizens give input on long- range plans I BY WES FERGUSON wes@haysfreepress.com The residents of Buda have spoken, revealing themselves to be a rather practical bunch. In meetings and surveys, townsfolk identified their three biggest priorities as tax rates, water and sewer service quali~, and traffic congestion. Follow- ing closely behind are manag- ing the city's growth, preserving Buda's small-town character and enhancing public safety. "This is not a 'growth at all costs' mentality," said Jim Car- rillo, a civil engineering consul- tant who along with city staff has organized the surveys and meetings. The input from Buda resi- dents is being used to shape the city's first comprehensive plan since 2002. The aim of the plan is to guide future growth as Buda continues its transforma- tion from a historical rail stop into a suburban bedroom com- muni~ Over the past decade, the city has swelled from a population of 2A04 to 7,295, and it shows no signs of slowing. "Buda's in a pretty enviable position," Carrillo said. "The 1-35 corridor is one of the fast- est-growing places in the entire country." However, he added, the growth has not been so rapid that it can't be influenced by city priorities. CarriUo, who works for the consulting firm HalffAssociates Inc., and city staff are putting to- gether a final draft of the com- prehensive plan. They expect to send the document to the City Council as early as next month. / / ! S Key elements of the new plan might include: Identify six areas of town for different kinds of growth, from an indusldal area in the southwest cor- ner of the city to the downtown heritage area and a "green growth" district in the northwest; Encourage "nodes" at various intersections; for instance, the corner of FM 967 and FM 1626 would be a community node for a mix of residential and commercial development. Offer a greater variety of housing within neighbor- hoods, so residents can upgrade or downsize their homes without moving to a different part of town or leaving Buda altogether; Bring commerce and industry to Buda so resi- dents won't have to ddve elsewhere for jobs; such development would also diversify the city's prop- erty tax base, relying less on residential taxes; Create more hike-and-bike trails; consider build- ing a civic center;, foster neighborhood groups so new residerda/XCome involved in civic life; ease traffic c~downtown and improve traffic 66~dors~n~r~ = ~e western part o~ town continues f~ develop;and use ..,road medians and landscap_~~itf;le city s character;, among many o~ arid suggestions. '.71 lot @the stuff that has happened in the last l O years was based on recommendations in thatplan (2002 Comprehensive Plan). Not just the land use, but economic development and IoU of different aq t$ wkat Buda is 10years later" -Rim Fletcher, Buda city councilmember "Growth is no~ going to slow than it was in 2002, he said, and just the land use, but economic continue to support old-town ing some places for folks who likely support an increase in down," said Chalice Sparks, Bu- it was tame for a significant up- development and lots of differ- Buda. live here to work here" is also a taxes dr fees to improve roads da's director of planning. "That s aate. ent aspects of what Buda is 10 "I think probably if anything priority. . and streets. why it's especially important .The,old pl,ar~, has served the years late, r-" :, , changed sigr~fi_ ,,catty between The biggest ~l~ce .~.3,With that in mind, Hetcher that we plan for it now."city weu, ne aaaed. . ~ ~p~.~trities havenL_ now and then, Fletcher said, tween ,the plans, h6: ~..,'~ said discussions for a new road City Councilman Ron Retch- " ........... ~ " .... "" - .... lotofthe stuffthat.hashap, changed s~ce the previous there's a In(more emphasis on new document's closeYl'o01~ at: bond might be in the council's er was involved in the creation pened in the last 10-.yfl~',,w'as:, ~ lug as.~aey did ~ 2~ and desire to have not just a nice transportation need,~ In:recent future. For information about of the 2002 plan. Buda is a com- o.asea on recommendations in ~.'~IF wish to rrm~tain pla~ to live hut a nice place to surveys, nearlF'.'~v~~ the comprehensive plan, see pletely different place today mat plan," Fletcher said.."Not Buda's small.town feel, andthey live and work and shop. So find- Buda residents said they would budatxplan.wordpress.com. Providing "compassionate, high quality medicine and surgery for dogs and cats. 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